For the last couple of years, I’ve had the great privilege of making some of the best friends through business that I’ve ever had. Those relationships have been some of the richest rewards of starting a business in WordPress.
Independently, we’ve chatted via instant messenger throughout the day, had extended phone calls, and always sought out each other at WordCamps or other events.
For a long time, it’s been my desire to find a way to work closer together, talk more frequently, and find ways to help each other grow our independent businesses.
So in September 2010, we decided to do a summit of sorts in Portland. Our initial group consisted of Lisa Sabin-Wilson, author of WordPress for Dummies and a close friend of iThemes, Grant Griffiths of Headway Themes, Jason Schuller of Press75 and Michael Torbert of All in One SEO Pack and Semper Fi Web Design. Carl Hancock of Gravity Forms had a last minute personal obligation and could not come but was part of our initial conversations.
We spent a couple days together eating, laughing, talking and debating … with one objective in mind: how can we do more together without sacrificing our independence.
To me, it was the start of a coalition of sorts and the beginning of some good times together.
We decided in Portland to call it MassivePress.
And for months people have been asking, “What is MassivePress?”
It’s the same question we’ve been asking ourselves honestly.
The answer that always resonates with our initial group is the simplest one but also one not everyone is content with hearing, but it’s the truth:
This is a way for us to formalize our existing friendships. And we are a group of WordPress entrepreneurs who believe we can do more together than apart.
This is what it’s always been about, for me and for us.
We enjoy one another’s company. We support each other and the businesses connected to each other. Sometimes, we’re here to be group counseling (it’s cheaper!). But we want to see what things could happen out of our little group of friends.
So with that, here are some hallmarks of what MassivePress means to me:
- Friendship – It’s always been about friends becoming even better friends. I cherish the friendships I’ve built through our business. When I’ve had the hardest times, they’ve been the first ones to ask how I was doing (and to continue to check up on me).
- Communication — As I said, most of us were talking to each other independently before MassivePress, but now we do it on a more as a group. It’s been awesome because we talk about what is happening in WordPress, in our communities and just as entrepreneurs how we can refine our business to do more for our communities and the families supported by them. Our weekly group Skype calls have been full of laughter and jabbing (at each other’s expense) but always in good spirit.
- Fun — Yes, business can and should be fun. Or else, it’s just a job. And a rich benefit is just enjoying life together with a group of friends who understand the challenges and joys of entrepreneurship.
- Collaboration — We’ve been doing things together before MassivePress but some really cool things have come out of our group time together. For instance, Jason is porting Press75 themes over to iThemes Builder and Headway; Michael and Lisa have both taught webinars at WebDesign.com and emailed their communities about our launches; as you know Benjamin at WebDesign.com has taught several courses on Gravity Forms, the awesome plugin that Carl and his team built; and of course Lisa, Michael and I have coauthored the upcoming All in One WordPress for Dummies book to be out very soon.
- Commercial – One thread we all have in common is that each of us offer commercial products and services to the WordPress Community and represent a large offering from themes, plugins, training, books, hosting, and custom services. And together, we’d love to help further define and be an example to the fact that you can make money with WordPress — and do it the right way.
- Passion – We have all enormous passion and pride for what we do as well as the software that has enabled us to do all of this — WordPress. We are passionate users and contributors of WordPress. Each version of WordPress makes amazing software even better … and we love to see how we can extend it through themes and plugins, train people to use it and do more with it, and all kinds of stuff. Yes, we love and support WordPress!
- Coalition – To me, it’s one of the best ways to explain it in one word. It’s a simple, one-word way to explain it. Like-minded people banding together to do coal things together.
I’m really excited to see our how little fledgling group grows and what comes out of it. Honestly, some of it we don’t know yet.
But what I do know is that if we do nothing more than the above … or to talk on a regular basis … then it’s a win-win for me.
Go check out MassivePress and be sure to sign up for the email newsletter to get some MassiveDiscounts on all our products and services.
(We also did a video interview at WPCandy that you can check out here.)
Here’s to the future!